Recently the owner of Matthew Algie, in Glasgow, opened his doors to show a reporter around his coffee factory - and the reports are that the findings were pretty impressive.
The exterior of the factory is an everyday site in an industrial park, but the interior holds many secrets. The coffee machines company has a heavyweight history – it was set up in the nineteenth century (1864) by the Glaswegian grocer and tea merchant, Matthew Algie. Eventually, however, following the market trends and tastes, the company transferred its business towards the coffee beverage instead. Matthew Algie stayed in the family for an impressive six generations until around 4 years ago, when a family death left a vacancy and Gary Nichol took the reins at the helm. It now has a workforce of some 215 employees.
This company is now a multi-million pound business and roasts coffee on a massive scale, enough, in fact, to brew a cool 500 million cups per annum. Customers who place orders with the company are also rather heavyweight and include Marks & Spencers, that British institution and also Sainsbury's and sandwich shop giant, Pret-a-Manger.
The factory impresses visitors – with its high-tech equipment, tasting rooms and whizzy control rooms to monitor quality.
The company is doing so well that it is currently in the process of extending its premises. There is a new vision here too: it is intended that baristas will be trained and café training courses made available. It is this pioneering spirit of innovation that has helped the company to develop and withstand the test of time.